AI’s appeal lies in its ability to personalise and streamline customer experiences in ways previously unimaginable. Through sophisticated algorithms and machine learning capabilities, AI can analyse vast amounts of data to understand individual preferences and behavior patterns.

This enables brands to deliver tailored recommendations, anticipate customer needs, and provide timely assistance, ultimately fostering deeper engagement and loyalty. For consumers, AI promises to make interactions with brands more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable.

As AI technology matures and becomes more integrated into everyday experiences, consumers become more receptive to its potential benefits. There is no doubt that the rise of generative AI has made waves over the last year, with tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft Co-Pilot being widely adopted.

World Consumer Rights Day and what it means

This year’s theme for World Consumer Rights Day, which happens every year on March 15 is ‘Fair and responsible AI for consumers’ and serves as a timely reminder for consumers to review their privacy settings and for policymakers to consider the tradeoffs associated with overly restrictive privacy laws.

This year’s event will shine the spotlight on concerns such as misinformation, privacy violations, and discriminatory practices and will look at how AI-driven platforms are able to subvert the truth by spreading false information and perpetuating biases.

Building consumer trust

Thales 2024 Consumer Digital Trust Index, Building Digital Experiences that Enhance Consumer Trust has identified AI as the technology most likely to positively impact consumers’ online interactions with brands. Much of the debate focused on how brands will use generative AI in their interactions; the study showed that just over half (51%) of respondents would be happy for companies to use the technology to improve their experiences. 

And nearly six out of ten (57%) of global consumers were anxious that brands using generative AI would be putting their personal data at risk. Also, roughly half (43%) claimed they would not trust any interactions powered by generative AI. An even higher number (47%) don’t trust companies to use generative AI responsibly.

With AI turning the financial services and retail industries on their head, advancements in this technology are set to be commonplace.

In financial services, chatbots and AI will improve their banking experiences even more. There’s also an opportunity for AI to play a greater role in compliance and regulation by helping businesses adhere more firmly to rules and regulations. And in retail, the future will see even more personalised experiences for consumers, and shopping taken to a whole new level of experience.

Looking to the future

As AI systems become increasingly integrated into various aspects of business operations, the potential for mistakes or biases also grows, making it even more important for companies to establish comprehensive AI policies prioritising accountability, explainability, and transparency. As regulations tighten and scrutinise AI practices even more, organisations must proactively address potential liabilities arising from AI misdoings.

As for consumers, the right foundations – transparency, regulations, ethical frameworks – will undoubtedly go a long way towards building trust.

Erick Reyes is strategic clients director for data security at Thales Australia.